Category Archives: Health

Benefits and deficiencies of Vitamins

Vitamins are compounds found in food, which help us to be fit and healthy. These organic compounds help in the functioning of the various metabolic systems of our body. Vitamins are found naturally in the various foods, which we consume and we can also obtain vitamins in the form of vitamin supplements. Vitamins also help to protect our body from diseases and infections. Vitamins are also essential for the formation of various enzymes and hormones of the body which control the metabolic activities such as digestion, circulation excretion etc. There are about eleven types of vitamins, which are essential for the human body. Vitamin A is essential for the proper functioning of our eye and it also acts as an anti oxidant preventing certain oxidizing chemical reactions, which cause harm to our body. Vitamin A can be obtained from green leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrot, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, papaya etc. The B group vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, cyanocobalamin and biotin. These are essential for the proper functioning of our nervous system and for the conversion of food in to energy by the body. It is also essential for the proper functioning of various metabolic activities of our body. Vitamin B is available from whole grains, beans, fish, lean meat, fruits and vegetables, dry fruits, nuts, milk, egg, soy beans, etc. Vitamin B-12 can be obtained only from animal sources such as liver, egg, meat, cheeses etc. B group vitamins are essential for the amino acid metabolism, nitrogen metabolism, and for the healthy skin. Vitamin C can be obtained from citrus fruits such as lemon, sweet lime, oranges, grapes, grapefruit etc. Vitamin C is essential for the prevention of diseases and infection. It also helps in the absorption of iron. Vitamin D can be obtained from sunlight. It is essential for the bones and teeth. It is also needed for the growth of our body. Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant. It can be obtained from whole grains, asparagus, wheat germ, corn, green leafy vegetables and seeds.

If you do not take a proper nutritious diet then you may suffer from vitamin deficiency health problems. Lack of Vitamin A can cause problems related to eyesight such as night blindness. Insufficient Vitamin B can cause diseases like Beriberi, Anemia, poor resistance to diseases, etc. Lack of Vitamin C causes gum bleeding, weakness, loss of appetite, tiredness etc. Insufficient vitamin D causes deformation of bones and teeth. Deficiency of vitamins in food leads to poor health. An effective way of filling the nutritional gaps due to poor eating habits is the use of vitamin supplements. These vitamin supplements can help us to boost our immune system and to build up stamina.

It is always better to take vitamins as a whole from food sources rather than synthetic vitamins. Taking synthetic vitamins is more like taking half vitamin and our body treats natural and synthetic vitamin differently. It is very essential to provide our body with natural nutrients for protecting various organs and body functions. Our body needs whole vitamins, which are found naturally in the foods such as grains, vegetables and fruits rather than vitamin supplements. Our body utilizes the natural vitamin more efficiently than the synthetic vitamin.

Choosing The Right Vitamin Supplement

Millions of people take daily vitamin supplements to encourage good health. With all the different kinds of vitamins, minerals and herbs flooding the market these days, it’s sometimes difficult to know what to choose.

The first thing you need to know is that vitamin supplements are not a replacement for eating healthy, vitamin rich whole foods. Food contains the nutrients your body needs in their very purest form, and interact with each other and your body in a way supplements cannot. However, taking vitamin supplements in addition to eating a vitamin-rich diet can be a great way to stay healthy and protect against damage from harmful free radicals.

When shopping for vitamin supplements, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Always read the label

Reading labels is a wise practice you should do every time you shop for supplements. Labels can tell you more about dosages, ingredients, safety precautions, and other important information.

Choose a reputable manufacturer

Always choose products with “USP” on the label. “USP” is the abbreviation for the U.S. Pharmacopeia and the inclusion on the label means the product has been tested and checked for quality and safety.

Check the Date

Expired vitamins can lose their potency. Always make sure there is an expiration date printed on the bottle, and never purchase or use expired supplements.

Avoid Giant Doses

Do not choose supplements that offer extremely high doses of a particular vitamin or vitamins. Too much of anything can be harmful, sometimes even fatal.

Store Safely

Always keep your vitamins out of the reach of children. Store in a cool, dark, dry place as heat and humidity can affect the integrity of the vitamins.

Always Do Your Homework

Research is always a good idea before deciding to take vitamin supplements. Consult with your doctor. Perform some Internet searches or visit your local library. There is a wealth of resources available for you on the topic of vitamin supplements and the benefits they offer.